Left behind

I am about to be vigorously ungracious at length. And then I will cheer the fuck up and, oh, I don’t know, hang out my laundry or something.

I was pootling about in the blogosphere (for once. Being depressed and hacked off with everything and also (legitimate excuse bit) having my coursework to do of an evening, I have become World’s Worst Bloggy Friend). And some poor innocent woman (no, I shall not link to the blog) was quite rightly and deservedly having a good old moan about how hard it was to still be childless, and how ‘everyone’ had overtaken her and some were even lapping her, and how very long she’d been blogging for.

I nodded. I empathised. I looked at her archives.

She’d been blogging since 2008.

So I took my upper-cut to the jaw like a brave little boxer and hustled myself off before I typed something regrettable. Because, oh, come on, two whole years of this infertility crap? Unacceptable. No one should have to deal with it for two whole years. No one. And certainly no one should be dealing with it to a chorus of Pain Olympians cluttering up the comment box.

But (but but but) I’ve been blogging since 2006. And I was trying to get pregnant for a year before that (she snivelled). I was 30 when H finally took a deep breath and threw away the condoms (I’d already thrown away the pill months before-hand). 30. Does that sound too old? Does that sound like I left it too long while we vapoured about having proper jobs and financial security and a female parent who wasn’t a colossal mess of PTSD and self-loathing after the Almighty Fuck-Up that was her PhD (one third of one, in box in study. Ask me no questions.)?

Anyway, by my 30th birthday, we were freshly married and ready to have kids.

By my 31st, we were worried that since coming off the pill, I hadn’t had a single, not one, period. But hey, we were supposed to try for a year before the NHS took any interest at all (in retrospect, I think I should have drop-kicked the smug doctor’s lap-top out of the surgery window at this point. Seriously, when I approached her I had not had a period for EIGHT MONTHS. Go and away and try for a full year, indeed. Stupid bitch).

By the 32nd, I was waiting for surgery, because my periods had reappeared and decided to make up for their prolonged vacation by going all-bleeding-all-the-time, also, jaysus, the cramps. (I turned out to have polyps and masses of scar-tissue from the surgery that cost me my left ovary, back when I was 18. Arse). No baby, no prospect of a baby for months and months.

I spent my 33rd birthday miscarrying.

By my 34th, we were trying Clomid again, but it was making me anovulatory (oops), also desperate and frantic. I was sure I’d never ever be pregnant again.

It’s my 35th in May. I’ve lost at least two (possibly three. No, I can’t let it go. I will fret about the possible chemical in August for bloody ever, so there) more pregnancies, and I have been diagnosed with adenomyosis, on top of the PCOS and *shudder* Habitual Aborter label. It has been the most colossal fucker of a year.

And I am still childless.

And so many of my darling bloggy friends have kids now. And so few of them have none. And of those few, not many at all have been blogging as long as I have.

I just feel so helplessly, stupidly, far behind. We’re not even doing aggressive, bring-it-on treatment. We’re just flailing along in everyone’s wake, getting bitten repeatedly on the arse by the loss piranha. When I read of people trying for number two, I feel left behind. When I read of people reaching the end of their Family-Building Quest, I feel left behind. Even when I read of IVF consults, and needles and pills and scans and such, I feel left behind. (For us, IVF is on hold until we get some kind of answer to the why miscarriages? question, even if said answer is ‘buggered if we know. Carry on.’ I mean, why spend thousands of poundingtons, and go through all the injections and drugs and exploding-ovary worries and giant-needle-through-vagina, just to lose any poor little fecker of an embro unwise enough to touch down in Cute Ute, Certified Uterus of Death and Destruction?).

It’s making me a shitty-bad commentator, as well. I wish my bloggy friends very well, and I still read, and I care deeply about how their lives are panning out. But I have nothing to say anymore. What the hell can I say to someone who is pregnant with their second, or having breast-feeding woes, or worrying about shutting up the baby-factory for good? What the hell can I say that isn’t insensitive, or stupid, or wailingly self-centred? When all I want to say is you’ve run so very, very far ahead of me now. And even as I think it, I know I am being unfair. And ungracious. Did I mention ungracious? Blech. I don’t care for me so very much right now. Talk about head up own bottom.


I did say I was going to be ungracious, didn’t I? Let it never be said I do not live up to expectations.

Anyway. Enough of this. I promised the laundry I would do it. Lucky laundry.


17 responses to “Left behind

  • bumbling

    You have every right to feel this way. Nuff said.

    We still care for you, even if you don’t care for yourself ;-(

    And when people are going through woes later on in the journey, sometimes a little reminder of how far they have come and what they have left behind can result in much blessings counting, and does no harm at all. And so it should. So you still have much to say, much of worth.

    And I haven’t done the laundry 😉

  • Aphra Behn

    I’m not really sure what to say here. As you know, I abdicated my childbearing options at the behest of someone who waited until I was 38 to waltz off before deciding that he did want children after all, but with someone else younger and blonder thank you. And the bitch of it is that I now am imposing childlessness on someone else. So though I’ve not been in the Sad Bad Places, I do get the being left behind thing and I have to live with the complexities and risks of doing it to someone else. It sucks.

    Poor May. You are where you are. The one time I had a general anaesthetic, I realised that it was actually ok to pass out. It’s ok for you to be where you are, because it IS where you are. That’s why we get the not commenting thing. You are in a slough of despond, of *course* you can’t comment. We know you would if you could. I for one worry far more for how you are, than I do that you ignore blandly blethering me.

    Poor May. Poor H. No-one should have to deal with this. I hadn’t realised it was four years. Stupid Aphra.


    PS – Kudos for not out-paining the poor woman. And kudos for venting here instead.

  • arminta

    May, My hubs and I have been on the childless road for 10 years. Part of that is because we did decide to start trying early. In the time that we’ve been trying (and losing and trying and losing) my sister has had two kids, my “twin” cousin has had one, and the kids I f’ing babysat as a teenager have even starting popping out little ones. I GET the feeling of left behind. It is a shit assy feeling.

    I just wanted to let you know that I do understand your feelings. I do get why you can’t comment, or even read some people anymore. I totally understand the feelings of “Seriously, she can’t sleep through the night, I’d pay to not be be able to sleep through the night for that reason, she needs to shut the F%^& up!!!”

    You aren’t being ungracious to express your feelings. I think it is wonderful that you’re ABLE to express them at all. Not that you have to feel this way or that you have to be in this mess, but that you’re able to get it out.


  • a

    For your next creative writing exercise: May reads blog post, and then comments according to her true feelings (i.e. STFU, you big whining baby). Describe the chaos that ensues…

    When people say they have been trying anything for TWO WHOLE YEARS, my immediate thought is, “how young they must be.”

    My sympathies on being stuck in the same spot for over 4 years….

  • L.

    Far from ungracious, this is for me one of the most touching posts of yours I have read. The worst illnesses or bodily experiences seem to be not only physically destructive but intensely emotionally destructive as well, corroding one’s self-love or feelings toward others, and then causing a whole other tertiary round of awfulness because you feel bad that you feel that way. Your feelings seem utterly understandable. I just wish you didn’t have to cope with all this guilt/pain/anger/grief as well as the central desolateness of not having the child you so very much want.

    Also, I really hope your physicians get it in gear to figure out what is wrong and, hopefully, help you find a solution.

  • g

    Your feelings are completely understandable and justifiable and even if you never leave me another comment I am cheering you on here,


  • Heather

    I’m with G. I get it if you don’t read. I’m praying this is your year.

  • Valery

    I love your writing.
    (that was a full stop)

  • Secret D

    Nothing to say, just wanted to give you a virtual hug {{ }}

  • Illanare

    Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said better by others. But – completely get the left-behind feelings. And even more hoping (quite genuinely) that this Is Your Year.
    Virtual hugs and family packs of Maltesers.

  • betty m

    You certainly are not ungracious. You didn’t have to come by to mine and leave a lovely comment but you did. Like others I totally get if you don’t comment but I will still come here and give what support I can. No one should be left behind and I hope the nhs gets it’s arse in gear sharpish to get more solutions for you quickly.

  • twangy

    NO WAY, MAY. You’re someone who’s processing some terrible traumas and losses, bravely, honestly, as best she can.


  • Rita

    I empathize completely – I went 9 years into the infertility limbo and frankly, some days I was fresh out of empathy for those who had been complaining about sans conception after the first 6 months of trying.
    I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Each day is a struggle. The fact that you address your feelings in your blog is healthy, I think.

  • meganlisbeth

    you are hardly ungracious and certainly do not need to cheer the fuck up if you are not so inclined.
    i get it, i do. i really do.
    nothing more to say, just hugs.

  • H

    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. I agree with so much you say to May too.

    I love her lots because despite all we’ve been through she still thinks, cares and gracious – to whit how she dealt with our friends news a couple of posts ago.

    I too hope we’ll catch up, but until we do I’m lagging behind with you. X

  • thalia

    Don’t be silly, it’s not at all ungracious or unkind. It just is. Of course you are sad and of course you are frustrated and of course you feel left behind, it’s totally utterly understandable. And blogs are FOR complaining, aren’t they? Did I miss that memo?

    Hang in there.

  • stephanie

    So sorry for your pain.

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